Leon Corstens trains rejuvenated filly Rahveel, a horse that has sprung into contention for the 2011 Crown Oaks at Flemington today.
She went into the Wakeful Stakes last start as a mere footnote, a horse not given a chance at well upwards of $50 odds.
What she produced though was quite incredible running second to Atlantic jewel, the $1.20 favourite.
The reality of the matter is that she was never going to beat Atlantic Jewel, in fact she still finished a good seven lengths away from the winner.
That matters little now though as Atlantic Jewel will not be contesting the Crown Oaks leaving Rahveel in a dominant position.
The Wakeful Stakes is the major form guide for the Oaks so on paper Rahveel should be the favourite.
She’s not though, she’s third in the market behind both dowager Queen and Mosheen.
It’s an interesting position given she beat Dowager Queen in the Wakeful and Mosheen is making a huge jump from a mile to 2500m in the space of less than a week.
It leaves Rahveel seemingly in a very solid position and Corstens is primed to take advantage of her new found form.
“I was very very pleased with her run, in a slowly run race all that disappointed me was that she pulled a little bit early,” he said.
That tempo is something that could be repeated again today with the lack of a genuine speed horse.
“It’s going t be a very slowly run Oaks today I think,” Corstens said.
“Atlantic Jewel would have had a mortgage on it had she been in the race today.”
Rahveel does have one concern, jumping from the outside gate in the 11 horses field, however Corstens is happy to leave it up to Damien Oliver.
“He’s done pretty good so far, I haven’t spoke to him to date…once the barriers open I can’t help him,” he said.
He says he’s backing his horse to run out the trip but the first 400m is going to be the key for all runners.
“I think a lot of it will depend on how these horses settle,” he said.
In the end though Corstens is pretty upbeat about the chances of his breakthrough three year old.
“I couldn’t be happier going into any one race and particularly a Group 1 race with what I’ve got,” he said.